Thankful for friends and tradition

This Thanksgiving will be different from any other one that I have celebrated. A recent move to the east coast has put us far away from everyone that we know and love. We’re grateful to have been invited to celebrate with friends and I will be bringing a traditional gluten free pumpkin pie and my favorite sweet potato casserole. I also made a dairy free, crustless pumpkin pie.

The sweet potato dish is a made every year, both for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Special Sweet Potato Casserole is one of those dishes that even people who don’t like sweet potatoes will try. I think most people have learned to dislike sweet potatoes because of the syrupy marshmallow topping, that even as a child turned my stomach. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, and piling extra sugars on top is simply overkill. Most sweet potato recipes you’ll find on the internet call for at least a half cup of sugar, but this recipe only uses 2 tablespoons. I have made it without the sugar and I like it even better. To cook the sweet potatoes, simply place in an oven for about an hour on a foil lined baking sheet. Lightly coat with shortening or coconut oil to prevent skin from sticking. When cooked, the sweet potato will easily slip out of the outer skin or you can peel it off before mashing.

Special Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A favorite sweet potato casserole with pecan and coconut streusel topping.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups hot, mashed sweet potatoes
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • Streusel topping: ⅓ cup chopped pecans, ⅓ cup flaked coconut, ⅓ cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Instructions
  1. Mix cooked sweet potatoes, butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and milk. Pour mixture into a 1½ - 2 quart casserole.
  2. To make the topping, combine pecans, coconut, brown sugar and flour. Stir in butter.
  3. Sprinkle topping mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 231 Fat: 12 Saturated fat: 6 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 31 Sugar: 16 Sodium: 103 Fiber: 3 Protein: 3 Cholesterol: 55

 

West meets east

It’s been a while since my last entry and life has been a bit of a whirlwind. Husband was out of work for ten months and during this period of job hunting, as the job opportunities in San Diego County were not opening up–to either of us, as I was also looking for a professional position, we agreed that he would expand his job search nationwide. This proved to be very fruitful and resulted in our move all the way to the east coast in the beautiful state of Maryland.

For me the move was very emotional. I cried as discreetly as I could the entire plane trip. I miss my grandchildren and my kids and parents very much. When I got off the plane and saw my husband, I sobbed in his arms and then cried all the way to our new home, which he was not expecting at all. Husband started his job in August and he moved two months before I did, and with the separation, I think he was expecting a happier reunion. It was, and still is, his worst fear that I would take this move very hard and resent him for it. I expect the sadness will go away with time. Husband is the most wonderful person in the world and loves me so much, that in spite of the tears, it was a very happy reunion.

This first week has been filled with constant unpacking, daily stink bug catching, snake rescuing, and putting forth my best effort to make this house a home. It’s a beautiful home and quite roomy, though smaller than our home in the west. The basement can hold everything I don’t want in the living area, so the house looks tidy. The day after I arrived, we caught about a hundred stink bugs. Apparently there has been a stink bug problem here in Maryland for a few years. Each day I catch fewer and fewer. Today, only two. The dogs have quickly become expert bug sniffers and will let me know when a bug has entered the house.

Yesterday morning when hauling more boxes down to the basement, I went to move a box and there was a little snake on top of one of the flaps. This totally startled me and I wanted to call husband; my very next thought was that I want to go home. I immediately went upstairs. I got up the courage to go back down to the basement and knock the snake into a big bucket so I could let him outside. After trying to get the snake off the box, it was discovered that the poor thing was stuck to the tape. Who knows how long it was there, but it looked dehydrated. I decided to rip the tape off the box and then try to somehow get the tape off the snake. I drizzled a little fish oil squeezed from a vitamin onto the tape to release the glue. After a few minutes, this did the trick and the little snake was set free outside my back door.

The scenery here is absolutely beautiful. Groups of white-tailed deer linger in the yard when the dogs don’t bark at them. We live on the border of a beautiful state park with lovely trails and streams. I think I am going to be happy here.

 

“Singin’ the blues” blue cheese stuffed eggs

There is a retirement party at the library tomorrow and we’re all singing the blues. A very nice man who has worked at the library for many years has decided it’s time to leave us. I think Blue-Cheese Stuffed Eggs is the perfect dish to bring for the occasion. Who would have thought that eggs and blue cheese together would taste good, but it is a perfect combination of flavors. You just have to try if for yourself. This is a gluten free recipe.

Singin' the blues blue cheese stuffed eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Blue cheese stuffed deviled eggs
Ingredients
  • 6 hard cooked eggs
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or tarragon vinegar
Instructions
  1. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Mash yolks with cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, salt, pepper, and vinegar until thick and smooth. Add more mayonnaise as needed. Fill egg whites with mixture. Chill until ready to serve.
Notes
Slice eggs with a wavy slicer for special effect. My slicer is from Pampered Chef.